How important are social networking sites to the promotion of shows like
Pretty Little Liars, that's still kind of new?
S. Mitchell They are
getting increasingly more important and more important. I mean with
Twitter and with Facebook and MySpace, it plays a very big part of the
whole marketing strategy. And I think the reason is because you can
reach so many more people from across the world. Twitter, I donít even
know how many fan pages and everything we have, and itís in Brazil and
Australia and everywhere. I donít know, it's bringing the world a
little bit closer. So, yes, it's extremely important for the marketing
team to be on top of everything and on those pages and have their own
pages just so you keep up with everything else that's moving so fast.
With the show becoming such a bit hit, how do you deal with all of the
attention and popularity you're getting now?
S. Mitchell I still
have my friends that I had in Toronto before the show, before
everything. I still talk to my friends just as much as I do. I still
talk to my parents every single day and catch up with them and see what
they did. So I'm just - I donít know - I havenít really noticed it as
much just because - and I donít think, I think it's the same with all of
the girls just because we're working so much, and we're on set. We wake
up. We go to work, and we go home and we hang for a little bit and then
go to sleep. So we're not really realizing what's going on outside of
like the studio unless we travel outward, which is - like last weekend
when we went to New York, it was amazing and intense in a way, some of
the girls that were coming up to us, looking for us all over New York.
So it's changed, yes, by more people coming up and recognizing you, but
as far as everything else, I still go home for the holidays. I keep my
Öand I think you kind of have to when something happens real quick.
What draws people to keep tuning in to watch Pretty Little Liars?
S. Mitchell I think
the fact that each character is so relatable, and if you donít feel that
you connect completely or totally understand one character, you kind of
find yourself in each of them. And I think because a lot of the issues
that we deal with quite possibly happen on a day-to-day basis, but you
either have it happen to you or you know someone that it has happened
to, it makes the show not so dreamy and farfetched. It brings it to a
very realistic kind of world and situations that happen in it. So I
think each of the characters are very relatable and yes.
You seem like so much fun and just like a ball of energy. So you
tweeted recently that you watched Black Swan and then you
couldnít sleep, Ö So I'm wondering, are there are scary episodes or
particularly scary moments for Emily coming up that you can talk or
tease about a little bit?
S. Mitchell Yes. So I
think with the second half of season one, obviously everybody was left
off with Emily's storyline that her mom saw that strip of herÖ And I
think it was, to say scary as in like the scary Black Swan Ö
there are scary and eerie kind of things for Emily coming up, I think
more of that happened in the first half of season one for Emily's
character, not for the other girls. And I would say that there's a lot
of intense moments. Not so much scary but more intense moments for
Emily and the stakes are raised a lot higher with her different
relationships with her family members and such friends because of
everything that happened in the first half. And I think it just gets
more intensified as opposed to being scarier, if that makes sense.
No, it does.
S. Mitchell Yes, but
there are some very intense moments that Emily has that's different,
like I said, members in her family and people in her life. I'm very
proud and I'm very excited for everyone to see these episodes in the
second half. Yes, I'm very happy.
And do you have any fears that you might have to be overcoming in the
future if they say we're going to work with spiders or we're going to
have you jump off - I don't think they'll have you jump off a cliff but
Ö anything scary that they might say we need you to do and you'd be
like, "Oh, it's a fear?"
S. Mitchell I think
I'm pretty claustrophobic, so if they had us crawling through some kind
of tunnel to get towards A - I donít know if I'd be able to do it. Or
be stuck in an elevator, like a small one with everybody. I donít
know. That would be a little bit tricky. So I'd say any kind of
claustrophobic situation or dealing with any sort of rodent. Not a fan.
Oh yes, it's scary.
S. Mitchell Yes. I
will sky dive. I will jump out of a plane. I will bungee jump. I will
do everything, but rodents and being in a small, tight space, not so
I noticed that you and Ashley have a boutique.com page.
S. Mitchell Yes.
Can you talk a little bit about that real quick?
S. Mitchell Yes, it's
really cool. I mean you can link up and I know that I'm following a
bunch of people like Nicole Richie. I love her style. And it's really
neat because you can just log onto boutiques.com and I see her page and
then you kind of see her style and different things that are on her wish
list and her favorite items. And then it just makes kind of shopping
online a lot easier because I really love the way that she dresses. And
I see the things that she picks and you can get them from a variety of
different places. And then I can just click off that and get it too.
It's just really cool. You get to see exactly things that they want,
their favorite items, and their style, and it's almost like shopping
with them in a way.
I was wondering, how did your fashion sense differ from your
S. Mitchell Okay, how
much time do we have for this answer? It differed quite a bit. They
always say it's kind of cool to come to work and be in someone else's
shoes and really live in someone else's shoes, as the saying goes. I
honestly feel like when I come to work and when I'm in Emily's wardrobe,
I turn into her and it's great because it helps me so much. But my
style is completely different from hers and not for any bad reason or
anything, just because I'm so girly and I love playing dress-up. I love
sequins and I love bright dresses and high-heeled shoes. I donít know,
I just like having fun with fashion.
So yes, my closet's a little bit brighter, whereas Emily would go for a
more comfortable. She's pretty athletic, so she always has running
shoes galore. She would choose comfort over a trendy outfit that was
not so comfortable for her, whereas I would probably get the outfit.
I'm just the opposite. But yes, I have just as many heels as Emily does
runners and dresses as she does jeans, so it's kind of different. But I
do love coming to work and getting to try on and be comfortable in her
So what else helps you get into character as Emily besides wearing her
type of clothes?
S. Mitchell Hanging
out with the girls and every scene that we have with the four of us is
really cool because now it's actually, I've really gotten to know each
of the other characters as well. And it's interesting because even now
I'll be shopping or I'll be with one of the girls from the show, I'll be
like this is a piece that Aria would wear. And I say that to Lucy and
she's like "Yes, I know. Oh my gosh, this is what Emily would wear."
So it's like weird. We're really getting to know each of the characters
so much better obviously than when we first shot. So it's really cool
that our relationships are getting closer as cast members as they are
characters, so it's really neat.
I wanted to know what is it like for you to play a character in the
closet when television has quite a few openly gay characters now?
S. Mitchell I was very
excited to play, and I think it was important to play a character who
was still discovering herself just because yes, like you said, there are
a lot of characters now in television who are out. But I think there
weren't so many that were in my age group and even in other age brackets
that were still trying to figure themselves out. And I think because
I've gotten such great response from the fans and people around the
world that have said, "Finally like somebody I can relate to because I'm
confused. I donít know what to label myself. Am I gay? Am I
straight? Am I bi?" And I think with Emily's character, she wasnít
trying to define herself. She didnít feel like she had to put a label
on herself. And I think that's what makes it unique, and I think that's
what makes it so great is that she didnít have to explain herself to
anybody. Yes, she didnít come out and say, "I'm gay or I'm bi." I
think it's just kind of cool to have a character on TV who has
discovered herself and doesnít want to quite put herself in one
And also, how will the show change now that A has moved from threats to
S. Mitchell It's
definitely raised the stakes. It's made the girls a lot more aware of
everything that goes on around them. Now they knew that he/she wasnít
really messing around before, but when he/she hits your friend with a
car meaning to probably kill you, you definitely are a lot more careful
with everything and just you realize that now A is not messing around
whatsoever. So I think, again like I said, it kind of brings each of
the girls closer to one another because this traumatic event happened.
And it just makes them want to find out even just get closer and figure
out who A is now. So all of the girls are on more of an intense mission
to try and figure out who A is.
Can you tell us in what ways, if any, do you relate to Emily?
S. Mitchell Yes,
definitely the swimming aspect. Emily feels this huge competitive
swimming and doing the best on her team. Not that I was one of the best
on my team, but I definitely was in the pool at a very young age. As
soon as I could walk, I was thrown into the pool. So I share that love
for the water like my character does, and also her competitive drive
that sort of comes from that too. I would definitely say that I'm
competitive, so I can understand Emily wanting to be the best on her
team. I also relate to the characterís amazing respectable qualities
about her, like one of the things that I respect about her the most is
her loyalty to each of the girls. And I would love to say that's the
characteristic that I share with my friends, and I think it's hugely
important and a good one to have. So yes, I think those are some of the
qualities that I have with her.
On-screen or off-screen, what's been the coolest experience for you
personally since Pretty Little Liars started?
S. Mitchell I think
on-screen, the next couple of episodes that will air January 3rd,
those are some of my favorite scenes up to date. So those were Ö
characters and were scenes that I was really, really happy with
everything, and that was kind of the best moments for me on screen. And
then off-screen I would say everything was just driving up to Warner
Brothers Films and getting to go to work with just amazing girls and
amazing crew. It's just become such a great big family, so it's just
lovely. There's too many things to list, but those are just some of
them. Just getting to go to work every day.
You talked a little bit about Emily struggling with her sexuality, and
we were wondering with all the kids in schools today being bullied and
worse for their sexuality, do you have any advice for teens that are
struggling with the issue?
S. Mitchell Yes, and I
would definitely say talk to somebody. I mean we are so - I just worked
with the Trevor Project, and I think it's an amazing organization where
they have a hotline 24 hours every single day where you can call in and
talk to somebody. And I think at times like that when you're getting
bullied and you feel like you are alone and you're the only one, that is
key. I feel like there are so many people out there that would help you
and are willing to listen and talk you through it. And I think that you
need a friend. Everybody needs a friend. And I feel like with these
hotlines out, they're so crucial and that you should definitely call
With everything else, I think with the bullying - in all bullies, you
have to realize itís because they're insecure with themselves and really
at the end of the day it has nothing to do with you. It has everything
to do with them and what's going on in their life and their need to make
you feel bad. I think it's important, so crucial, and everything to
life an authentic life, so I would say never change yourself or never
fake being somebody or never want to be somebody or something different
than who you are. So with all of those things, it's horrible and that's
why playing this character, I've been very proud to do it.
And we also saw on Twitter that you saw Black Swan, and we were
wondering since you started as a dancer and now you're an actress, what
do you think of the film as a dancer and as an actress?
S. Mitchell I think it
was absolutely amazing. I think for Natalie Portman who is an actress
before a dancer, for her to go through such a huge training process and
everything that she had to do, not just the dieting but literally doing
her own dancing for the most part is absolutely amazing, so I can
appreciate it as a dancer and I can appreciate it as an actor. It was
an amazing movie. I just was not prepared for it to be as much of a
thriller as it was. I donít watch previews or anything like that, so
when I go to a movie I'm blind and I donít listen to what other people
have said about it. So I went into it not knowing anything and was just
a little bit more frightened than I thought I was going to be.
Your character Emily along with Aria, Hanna, Spencer, Öthe drama and the
danger surrounding them. Do you have someone in your life that you can
always count on to be there for you?
Definitely. Yes, I'm pretty blessed to have a tight knit relationship
with all of my family members: my mom, my dad, my brother, my grams. So
I have all of them to talk to in addition to some of my best friends
that I've grown up with. So to count, I would say that I definitely
have about five good friends, and I think that's amazing and Iím blessed
with family members if I have somebody to call on and yes, I feel very
lucky because playing Emily's character, you realize just how important
it is to have the support from your family members. When you donít have
it, it's a whole different world.
As far as the four girls on set, do you have any time to just be normal
friends, to just have girl time?
S. Mitchell Yes, we
do. On weekends, they all have their own groups obviously from growing
up here and living here. So that's why I've gone to kind of figure out
the city a little bit more, walking around on my own, but definitely
Troy and I get together and we do like a movie night on Sundays. We've
done that a couple of times. And weíll do a dinner, so that's kind of
nice. And yes, we do. When we have time, if we're not busy doing other
things, then we do try and get together. Otherwise, we see each other
at events too, and that's kind of fund because we're not on the lot and
we're just out together, so that's kind of cool too. But we do try and
Are there any books that you're reading right now that you think that
someone should definitely put on their Christmas list or should go pick
up in the store ASAP?
S. Mitchell Yes,
The Four Agreements. I bet I've read this book a bunch of times,
but this is definitely an amazing Christmas gift and I already have
several copies that I'm going to give out this year. So I would say
The Four Agreements.
I was wondering if you watched Christmas Cupid last night, since
your costar Ashley Benson starred in it?
S. Mitchell I am
watching it, and she has given me the actual film to go and watch it
this weekend when I come home and go home to my family because - it's a
big tradition in my family household is to watch Christmas movies on
Christmas Eve. And because most of the time you're always watching the
same movies, your favorite movies that you watch all the time - the
classic ones - this time when I go back, we're actually watching
Ashley's movie. So I want to be just as surprised as everybody else and
I'm going to bring it home and we're all going to watch it together. So
that's how I'm going to watch her movie on Christmas Eve, but I heard
it's absolutely amazing.
What do you want fans to take away from your character Emily when they
watch the show?
S. Mitchell Yes. My
character, I would want for them to see themselves and like I said, I
donít think there's anything more important than just being true to who
you are and living an authentic life. And if they get anything from
that, it's just be you, live your life and donít be afraid about what
anybody else says. At the end of the day, it's only what you think, so
that's what you're happy with.
Do you have any traditions with the character, the crew that you guys
have kind of started now that you're getting into the Ö of the second
half of the first season like anything that you tend to do?
S. Mitchell Okay, it's
not really like a tradition or anything, but we do have a lot of inside
jokes that I can tell you. We have one inside joke that the cast and
the crew and everybody makes fun of me, and it's still sometimes when I
say my lines or even some of the other girls are doing it too on purpose
now, but because of my accent and being Canadian, I still say sorry a
lot and I havenít switched it over completely to sorry. So on set, like
the cast members and crew, whenever anything happens now no one says
sorry on set, and they all say sorry. I mean it's a small inside joke
but it's kind of funny now because even after at one point I'll be like,
"Oh, I'm sorry." And like it's kind of a little jab to me but it's just
kind of funny because everybody's switching it up now, so youíre hearing
a lot more sorryís on set than you are sorry, which really isn't helping
And in terms of pranksters, do you have anyone who is playing pranks on
the set or does anything silly like goes and musses up your trailers or?
S. Mitchell No oneís
messed up our trailers, but we all talk about in the first half of the
season that Ashley was the biggest prankster on set, because she would
go around putting clothespins on different crew members Ö and they
couldnít do anything about it. And she did a bunch of stuff like and
she'd just joke around. She's a jokester. But she actually hasnít done
really any pranks in the second half since weíve been shooting, so, I
havenít thought about that. But Iíll have to bring that to her attention
Ö Yes, she is the prankster. She just hasnít been pranking anybody
I was just curious if there's any hint about Toby you can give us for
the second half of the season or at least Emily's feelings about Toby?
S. Mitchell Yes, Toby
Ö Everybody loves Toby. Everybody on set loves Keegan and everybody
really loves Toby because she would have such a soft spot for him. And
his relationship with Emily is definitely very unique, very special.
And they have their moments that were really sweet before everything.
And I think with Toby, she wonít be leaving Öjust yet. So he will be
hanging around. As far as his relationship with Emily or anybody else,
that I would have to say you need to tune in because if I say one thing,
it would not be good. But yes, Toby does stick around Ö He will be
Even though we love you playing Emily in Pretty Little Liars, do
you have any other projects that you are currently working on or see you
working on in the future?
S. Mitchell Yes. I do
have a different kind of project that I do have at the end of the year,
which I would love to tell everybody right now but I have to keep my own
secrets, too. So there are some goals that are happening next year. So
it will be good. Itís hard to do these interviews because I want to
tell everybody what happens, and I would love to share with everyone Öoh
my gosh, in this scene, but we have to be very tight lipped around here,
so I'm trying my best.
Have you had a chance to actually meet the author Sara Shepard yet? And
if so, what was your favorite moment?
S. Mitchell Oh my
gosh, yes, we did meet Sara Shepard. We met her actually in New York
last March, end of March of this year, and she was so great. We met her
twice because she came out to L.A. again and did the book signing with
us that we had right before the show premiered. Sara is amazing. She
is so much fun. We had a great dinner with her and then when we saw her
in L.A. last time and even when she came on set for that episode that
she did. So, yes, she is so great and we want to have her back to do
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